Chicago school (sociology)

From Academic Kids

In sociology, the Chicago School refers to the first major attempt to study the urban environment by combined efforts of theory and ethnographic fieldwork in Chicago.

The major researchers in this school included W. I. Thomas, Florian Znaniecki, Robert E. Park, Louis Wirth, Ernest Burgess, Everett Hughes, and Robert McKenzie. From the 1920s to the 1930s, urban sociology was almost synonymous with the work of the Chicago school. Sociologists since the mid-20th century have mounted a series of criticisms of the approach, including New Urban Sociology, which emphasizes the political dimension. The controversial views of the Los Angeles School on postmodern urbanism and scholarship is a conscious effort to depart from Chicago school. It is perhaps an indication of the lasting power of the Chicago school.

For an overview of the history of the Chicago School, see web version of an article by Howard S. Becker, himself a member of the "Second Chicago School."

Becker article (http://home.earthlink.net/~hsbecker/chicago.html)

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